27 Apr How to Find a Trustworthy Asphalt Company
Every paving season, we hear multiple occurrences of local residents becoming victims of paving or other home improvement scams. Many of these tales originate with door to door salesmen offering deeply discounted services and end with sub-par installations at best. In worst case scenarios, payment is collected up front and the work is never even started. As a pavement company, we’re frustrated that scams like these continue to work but as members of the community and fellow homeowners, we sympathize with our neighbors that have been taken advantage of. If you are in need of asphalt work or maintenance, here are some red flags that can help you avoid a scam:
- Door to door salesmen: A reputable asphalt company will never attempt to sell their services door to door. They will utilize more traditional means of advertising and will be listed in the phone book or an online search engine. They will also have a physical address that you can visit if needed.
- Claims of “left-over asphalt”: Essentially, there is no such thing as left-over asphalt. Hot mix asphalt needs to be used immediately or it will be too cold to apply. Conversely, cold mix asphalt should only be used as a temporary patching material, never for an entire driveway installation.
- Deals that seem too good to be true: Quotes that seem very low, especially in comparison to other estimates you’ve received, are likely to reflect low quality work. Due to asphalt’s perishable nature (see above), a credible asphalt company will use the appropriate equipment and an adequately sized crew to install the pavement while it is hot. These aspects add to the price tag up front but will save the property owner costly future repairs for improperly installed pavement.
- Rapidly expiring quotes: Many pavement scammers will pressure a resident into agreeing to a deal immediately. A trustworthy company will always provide an estimate that is guaranteed for a reasonable amount of time so that you can take the time to weigh your options. For example, Asphalt Specialists & Supply, Inc. will honor an estimate for 30 days.
- Cash-only terms or up-front payment requirements: A pavement company that’s worth their weight in asphalt will never require cash payment or complete payment before work is finished. Most will not require any payment until the work has been completed to your satisfaction.
- Out of state licenses: In most areas, there will be multiple local companies that you can choose from to install or maintain your driveway. In general, it would not be economical for an asphalt company to travel beyond the territory that surrounds their headquarters so long distance salesmen offering deep discounts should always be an indication of a scam.
In addition to the red flags listed above, you should also make sure the asphalt company you are considering is insured (including worker’s comp) and bonded. The estimator you work with can provide this information to you and you can confirm coverage with the third party insurance company. Furthermore, most asphalt companies will put their money where their mouth is with a written warranty guaranteeing their work for a specified amount of time.